NFL

Why is Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy missing the game vs. Saints? When will he be back?

Dallas still leads the NFC East división despite going 1-3 over the last month. They will face the Saints on Friday without coach McCarthy, but why?

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Why is Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy missing the game vs. Saints?

It has been a month to forget for the Dallas Cowboys, as three of their four defeats, since the beginning of the NFL season, have happened this November.

Thanksgiving was the last episode of losing dynamics for the Cowboys, when they lost to the Raiders in overtime. Previously, they suffered losses to the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Cowboys will try to take out their frustration on Thursday vs the Saints, a showdown where they need to come out on top if they want to keep their lead over Washington and the Eagles.

McCarthy missing the next game

America’s Team, though, will travel to New Orleans without head coach Mike McCarthy, who tested positive for coronavirus on Monday. McCarthy was placed on covid protocols but continued to direct the game preparation and was involved in all of the meetings virtually.

Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will serve as the Cowboys' interim coach, a role he will be taking until McCarthy gets cleared, although that will depend on the main coach's evolution. While Quinn, who was Atlanta's head coach from 2015-20, will be the one taking the final decisions, he will be surrounded by offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and special teams coordinator John Fassel.

McCarthy, who stated his only symptom was a "scratchy throat”, said he didn’t remember missing a practice ever in his NFL career, which started back in 1993 when he did quality control for the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I just want to make sure the team's prepared," McCarthy said. "That's the way I've always done it: there's a preparation phase and a performance phase. The preparation phase, we've got to complete it because it obviously gives us the best chance on Thursday night”, he added.

The Cowboys will keep on doing virtual meetings with McCarthy for the remainder of the week, including Thursday’s meetings in New Orleans.

Covid hits the Cowboys

McCarthy joins a list of covid-infected staff that includes offensive líne coach Joe Philbin, assistant offensive line coach Jeff Blasko, strength and conditioning coordinator Harold Nash and asistant strenght and conditioning coach Kendall Smith. Running backs coach Skip Peete missed the Atlanta Falcons match this month. As for the players, right tackle Terence Steele has been ruled out this week due to coronavirus and Rookie cornerback Nahshon Wright has been added to the covid list.

The franchise has been hit hard by coronavirus this season. Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin missed the season opener, linebacker Keanu Neal and wide receiver Amari Cooper –the only two unvaccinated players on the 53-man roster- missed two games apiece on the covid list, while defensive end Randy Gregory, kicker Greg Zuerlein, guard Brandon Knight and defensive end Bradlee Anae also missed games.